Jennifer A. Zellers, DPT, PhD

Jennifer A. Zellers, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy, Orthopedic Surgery

Research Interest


Category(ies) of Research



Descriptor of Research

The majority of scientific literature studying tendon injury has been conducted in active, generally healthy populations. Often, individuals with systemic comorbidities, like diabetes, are excluded from studies because the impact of systemic conditions on tendon healing is not well-understood. This is a limitation given that individuals with diabetes have impaired tendon homeostasis and are at 3x greater risk of developing tendon injury compared to
individuals without diabetes. Taken together, the increasing population of individuals with diabetes at risk of developing tendon injury and the simultaneous lack of understanding of diabetes-related tendon complications presents a significant obstacle to delivering personalized, evidence-based rehabilitative care. My research combines ex vivo and in vivo approaches to assess diabetes-related tendon complications. This includes assays in
human tissues to investigate changes in tendon composition and mechanics, application of in vivo clinical imaging to quantitatively characterize tendon tissue, and human performance testing (e.g., walking and jumping performance).